Saturday, June 10, 2023

Utensils around the world!

Ever wonder about the different utensils used for eating around the world?

Forks, knives, and spoons!

These are the three basic eating utensils that are found all over the world nowadays!

The Fork

The Fork

The fork is believed to originate as far back as Ancient Greece. However, forks were not used as a personal eating utensil until some time during the Roman Empire. It is interesting to note that the use of the fork as an eating utensil was not quickly spread, in fact, it took a long time for northern Europe to adopt this new (and easier) way of eating!

Types of forks

  • Table fork
  • Deli fork
  • Salad fork
  • Fish fork
  • Shrimp fork
  • Dessert fork
  • Oyster fork
The Knife

The Knife

Knives have a very long history as even cavepeople are believed to have used a knife-like tool for hunting and cutting into their kill. During the Middle Ages it was custom for people to carry their own personal knives in a belt sheath. They would then use their knives to barbarically eat their food. However, the table or “dinner” knife was only developed about 500 years ago!

Types of knives

  • Chefs knife
  • Boning knife
  • Cleaver
  • Bread knife
  • Paring knife
  • Grapefruit knife
  • Butcherknife
  • Santoku knife
  • Carving knife
The Spoon

The Spoon

The true age of the spoon may never be definitive because centuries of different tribes, groups, and other civilizations have been using scooping devices with “handles” to handle food. However, it is documented that the spoon was used during the Ancient Egyptian times (about 1000 B.C.) during religious ceremonies!

Types of spoons

  • Teaspoon
  • Tablespoon
  • Dessert spoon
  • Grapefruit spoon
  • Soupspoon
  • Demitasse spoon
  • Chinese spoon
  • Sugar spoon
  • Caviar spoon
  • Salt spoon
  • Iced Tea spoon


Primarily an Asian eating utensil. Chopsticks have been used in China for roughly 5,000 years! The first chopsticks we’re actually developed as cooking tools rather than eating utensils. They are believed to have been made out of twigs! Today, Asian communities still use chopsticks (though they are a much more design-oriented version) and they have also adopted the use of forks, spoons, and knives as have many other cultures around the world.

Types of chopsticks

  • Bamboo chopsticks
  • Wooden chopsticks
  • Plastic chopsticks
  • Disposable chopsticks
  • Metal chopsticks
  • Polymer material alloy chopsticks
  • Stainless steel chopsticks
  • Silver chopsticks


While many cultures would see eating with your hands as a high of casual eating or even as a sign of disrespect, some cultures primarily rely on their hands as their eating utensils.

For example, in India, Africa and the Middle East, some cultures use their right hands to scoop and eat food whereas using their left hand to scoop or eat food would be a sign of disrespect.



A long pointed stick (usually made out of wood or metal) that food is spiked onto and cooked. Usually in varying layers of meat and vegetables! The skewer is possibly the oldest (except for hands) of all the eating utensils on this list. The use of skewers for cooking food (and presumably eating food) dates back at least 300,000 years ago! Today, we often use skewers to cook and then eat kabobs off the grill.

Types of skewers

  • Metal skewers
  • Wood skewers


Some cultures, such as Indian cultures, use foods like naan bread as the “utensil” for eating their vegetables and meat. It can be argued that the hands are still the physical eating utensil in this case because the naan bread is also eaten.

Types of food that serve as “utensils”

  • Naan bread
  • Oyster shells
  • Cabbage leaves (or other vegetable leaves)
  • Tortillas
  • Hollowed vegetables such as bell peppers, pumpkins, etc.

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Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!


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